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Trash-Collecting Device Breaks Apart In The Pacific Ocean

The plastic barrier with a tapered 3-meter-deep (10-foot-deep) screen is intended to act like a coastline

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Trash, Ocean
A ship tows The Ocean Cleanup's first buoyant trash-collecting device toward the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco en route to the Pacific Ocean, Sept. 8, 2018. VOA

A trash collection device deployed to corral plastic litter floating in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii has broken apart and will be hauled back to dry land for repairs.

Boyan Slat, who launched the Pacific Ocean cleanup project, told NBC News last week that the 600-meter (2,000-foot) long floating boom will be towed 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) to Hawaii.

If it can’t be repaired there, it will be loaded on a barge and returned to its home port of Alameda, California.

 

Ocean Pollution, trash
Artist Joel Deal Stockdill, lower right, works on a blue whale art piece made from discarded single-use plastic at Crissy Field in San Francisco. VOA

 

The boom broke apart under constant wind and waves in the Pacific.

Slat said he’s disappointed, but not discouraged and pledged that operations would resume as soon as possible.

“This is an entirely new category of machine that is out there in extremely challenging conditions,” the 24-year-old Dutch inventor said. “We always took into account that we might have to take it back and forth a few times. So it’s really not a significant departure from the original plan.”

Previously Slat said the boom was moving slower than the plastic, allowing the trash to float away.

Microplastics, plastic, trash
A volunteer shows plastics retrieved from the ocean, after a garbage collection, ahead of World Environment Day, on La Costilla Beach, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Rota, Spain. VOA

A ship towed the U-shaped barrier in September from San Francisco to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an island of trash twice the size of Texas. It had been in place since the end of October.

Also Read: The Ocean And Its Climate Crisis

The plastic barrier with a tapered 3-meter-deep (10-foot-deep) screen is intended to act like a coastline, trapping some of the 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic that scientists estimate are swirling in the patch while allowing marine life to safely swim beneath it.

Slat has said he hopes one day to deploy 60 of the devices to skim plastic debris off the surface of the ocean. (VOA)

Next Story

Neutralizing Ocean Acidification Possible with this Surf Wax Formula

Activists create surf wax formula to neutralize ocean acidification

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Ocean
Environmentalists have developed a surf wax that will reduce acidification in ocean. Pixabay

Australian environmental activists said on Tuesday that they have developed a surf wax formula that helps neutralize ocean acidification.

SmartWax, a brand manufacturing the formula, comes with the image of global leaders that deny climate change, such as US President Donald Trump, the non-profit responsible for the project, Clean Ocean Foundation Australia, told Efe news.

Surfers commonly apply the wax on the board before going into the sea as it helps to prevent them slipping.

From January 2020, they will also include the face of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

About 25 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions, one of the planet’s major polluters, are absorbed by oceans, contributing to their acidification and endangering marine life and ecosystems.

Surf Wax
This surf wax should be applied on the surfing board. Pixabay

According to Unesco data, if measures are not taken to reverse its effects before 2100, more than 50 per cent of marine life will be extinct.

“We can no longer afford to sit by and watch our oceans turn to acid and marine environments turn into a wasteland. SmartWax shows that we can all shape a better future for our ocean if we stick to it,” Clean Ocean Foundation CEO John Germill said in a statement.

Also Read- Global Warming Can Make You Fall ill More Often: Study

This wax, made from a natural substance capable of neutralizing ocean acids, will contribute towards small gradual changes to try to get the sea waters back to their natural pH levels.

With about 35 million surfers worldwide, Clean Ocean estimated that if all surf-board wax brands used their formula, it could help treat about 112 million liters of seawater per day. (IANS)